Postal Updates

Postal Service to deliver COVID-19 test kits

Jan 26, 2022, 3 PM

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The Biden administration is planning to deliver up to 1 billion COVID-19 test kits to homes across the country. Plans are in place for the United States Postal Service to deliver the first 500 million kits.

The White House has not announced how the second 500 million test kits will be distributed.

Every home in the United States is eligible to order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests via the U.S. government website www.covidtests.gov. The website went live Jan. 18, one day ahead of schedule.

Orders will usually ship within seven to 12 days, the USPS said.

“The United States Postal Service is proud to fulfill its mission of service to the nation by delivering Covid test kits as part of this important public health initiative of the Biden Administration,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a brief statement Jan. 7 after White House officials confirmed the project.

“The 650,000 women and men of the United States Postal Service are ready to deliver and proud to play a critical role in supporting the health needs of the American public,” DeJoy said. 

“We have been working closely with the Administration and are well prepared to accept and deliver test kits on the first day the program launches,” the postmaster general said.

Postal officials have been seeking approval to keep some temporary holiday workers to help handle the surge of test kit mail.

The Postal Service confirmed Jan. 26 that it had begun mailing the test kits in the previous week.

“Already tens of millions of tests have gone out the door and are arriving at people’s mail boxes and doors,” said White House advisor Jeffrey Zients.

“We’ve seen strong demand and the website has worked very well - taking in orders quickly and efficiently,” Zients said.

On Dec. 21, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his administration would make test kits available to the public for free in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. Details of how the kits would be made available were not announced at that time.

White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed to reporters Jan. 7 that the Biden administration had issued letters of approval for the production of the test kits.

This story was updated Jan. 19, Jan. 24 and Jan. 26 with new information.

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